The Hill’s 12:30 Report – US targets Putin’s family

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The newest Russia sanctions are a clever tactic:

The U.S. just announced new sanctions on Russia this morning, which include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adult daughters.

The new sanctions also target: Russia’s two largest banks and the family of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The sanctions also blacklist members of Russia’s security council.

The sanctions are in response to: “The sickening brutality” recently discovered in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha following the retreat of Russian forces, according to a senior administration official.

The implications of these sanctions, from The Hill’s Laura Kelly:

ABC’s “Good Morning America” aired a segment on the latest violence in Ukraine. I’ll warn you, it’s pretty tough to watch. Video:

It’s Wednesday — another dreary day in the DC-area. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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One partisan issue at a time, apparently:

The $10 billion COVID-19 relief bill may be punted until after Congress’s two-week recess.

But wait, wasn’t a bipartisan deal reached this week?: Yes, a group of senators reached a deal. But immigration-related policies are now holding up the vote.

Details of the holdup: “Republicans are demanding votes to include reinstating a policy from the Trump administration known as Title 42, which allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and blocks them from seeking asylum due to the risk of the virus.”

And the Senate is already a bit preoccupied: Senate Democrats are laser focused on confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court before the end of the week.

When will Congress return from recess?: The week of April 25

More on what to expect, via The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Peter Sullivan:


Yes? No? Maybe so?

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Rachel Frazin, “President Biden is facing growing questions about whether he will throw his support behind a federal gas tax holiday in an attempt to save Americans some money at the pump while gas prices remain high from inflation and the impact of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.”

What’s Biden’s position?: It’s been pretty unclear. The White House hasn’t shut down the idea, but also hasn’t endorsed it.

Where Democrats and Republicans stand:

Photo of the fog and rain outside the White House today, via Dr. Ashish K. Jha:


I imagine these three casting their votes while staring directly at a few colleagues:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “By breaking with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, three Republican moderates sent a clear message that they aren’t happy about how partisan Supreme Court confirmation proceedings have become.”

How so: “Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) firmly rejected the tactics of more conservative colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who grilled Jackson during her confirmation hearings and accused her of being soft on child pornography offenders.”

Concerns the three have over the Supreme Court confirmation debates:


Let’s look more into long COVID-19

“President Biden on Tuesday directed government agencies to take additional steps to research and treat long covid, a condition that remains often mysterious even as it has sickened millions of Americans,” write The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond and Frances Stead Sellers:

How many people are affected by it?: “Anywhere from 7.7 million to 23 million Americans, according to a recent federal watchdog report.”

Read the report:


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 80,209,361

U.S. death toll: 982,558

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 563 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 113,468 doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:


~Fox news alert~:

^ Sorry, that headline was required. 

A fox has been spotted around the U.S. Capitol grounds. Photo from Roll Call’s Bill Clark: [EM1]

Oh no: “A Capitol Police spokesman told ABC News that a fox ‘bit or nipped’ at least six people, including one lawmaker.”

^ Who was the lawmaker?: Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., who tweeted after that he is “healthy and back to work.” Bera’s full tweet about the incident:

^ Bera even snapped a photo of the fox: Via NBC News’s Scott Wong:

D.C. Animal Control captured a fox after the incident: Photos from U.S. Capitol Police:

This looks so pre-pandemic normal

The Los Angeles Times’s Eli Stokols tweeted a photo of a crowded White House East Room yesterday before the event with President Biden and former President Obama. Stokols pointed out that the event was shifted from the Rose Garden to the East Room. Photo:

A former president, a former vice president who is now president and a vice president walk into a bar: Here’s video of Obama, Biden and Vice President Harris walk through the White House together. Watch, via NBC News’s Peter Alexander:


The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

10:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden received his daily intelligence briefing.

11:45 a.m. EDT: A confirmation vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today:

1:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris ceremonially swears in Randi Charno Levine as ambassador to Portugal.

2:45 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today:

5:15 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.


12:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki gives a press briefing. Livestream:

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden signs the “Postal Service Reform Act of 2022” into law. Livestream:

April 13Al Roker interviews former President Obama on NBC News’s “Today.”


Today is International Carbonara Day.

Imagine reading this headline 20 years ago. 

Actually, no, imagine reading this headline in *2022*:

“A $300,000 Dolce & Gabbana Tiara You Can Only Wear in the Metaverse”

The Wall Street Journal’s Trefor Moss writes, “The world’s biggest luxury brands have been dipping their toes into the world of digital fashion, and the early evidence suggests there are eager buyers willing to pay premium prices for virtual products.” Read the full story:

And because you read this far, here’s a pup that should patent its tail: 

[EM1]This whole fox situation is giving me Parks and Rec vibes

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